Friday, August 4, 2017

Stuck in a Snowstorm With Kate Beckinsale, or Thoughts on Whiteout

Ever since John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), I’ve had a thing (did you see what I did there) for movies set in the North or South Pole.  It doesn’t even have to be about alien shapeshifters, vampires will do just fine in movies like 30 Days of Night (2007) or even square jawed Cold War action movies like Ice Station Zebra (1968).  There’s something about the desolate landscape, where the environment is as much of a threat to the protagonist as the bad guys that appeals to me.  Plus Kate Beckinsale looks great in a parka, so I’m predisposed to like Whiteout (2009), where she plays a US Marshall on an Antarctic research facility.
Kate Beckinsale, who will always be Seline to me from Underworld is Carrie Stetko, a US Marshall suffering from some PTSD in Miami about to retire, which is all pretty typical stuff for a movie detective.  There’s a little bit of everything in this movie; a Cold War sub-plot involving a crashed Soviet plane from the ‘50s, an ice axe fight in a snowstorm, some diamond smuggling and a lot of frozen corpses.  It makes for a confusing, meandering plot in places, which may be more the fault of director Dominic Sena, of Kalifornia (1993), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) and Swordfish (2001).  Watch out for Tom Skerret as Doc Fury, Carrie’s closest colleague on the base.
From the 1998 graphic novel of the same name, and rated the worst movie of 2009 by AOL Moviefone, it currently holds an impressive 7% on Rotten Tomatoes.  But you guys love comic book movies, so you should give it a shot.

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